Q. Re: Free Choice vs. God’s Plan When I read things about free choice, such as this particular inquiry, it brings to mind a question about whose free will/choice is being allowed here. In this case, the “free choice” of the murderers, etc. “happens”, while the “free choice” of those being murdered/stabbed, etc. does not. Can you address this issue for me?
A. The reason actions like the ones you describe are against the laws of God and man is that they violate the sovereignty of another person. God is so protective of our sovereignty that He won’t even allow Himself to violate it. That’s why, even though He would dearly love to, He won’t force His salvation on us.
When in the exercise of our free will we deprive other people of theirs, God’s law demands repayment in kind. In the case of minor injuries fines were levied. “But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise” (Exodus 21:23-25).
It sounds pretty barbaric to us, but it demonstrates the level of importance God has attached to the sovereignty of each individual.